Settler group: Investigate 'planned' Amona police violence

Human Rights in Judea and Samaria: Cops' brutality was not routine or spontaneous, but premeditated.

amona clashes 298.88  (photo credit: AP [file])
amona clashes 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Human Rights in Judea and Samaria NGO was due on Monday to submit a report and complaint to State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, charging that the government and the top echelon of the security forces planned in advance to use illegal means to dismantle the Amona outpost last year. The documents were set to be filed on the first anniversary of the evacuation according to the Hebrew calendar, organization head Orit Struck told The Jerusalem Post. "The police did not use routine police violence, which is spontaneous in nature, but premeditated violence that was practiced by the police in advance," according to the report. The tone was set by the leadership before the February 1 evacuation, the report charges. It quoted government officials, including then-acting prime minister Ehud Olmert, who called on police in Hebron and Amona to "act quickly and assertively against lawbreakers and to punish those who raise their hands against security officials." The report quotes Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz saying the Amona evacuation was a test case. "The way the opposition to it is remembered in the Israeli consciousness will affect the future of the settlement program in Judea and Samaria," he reportedly said. The report also charged that the police deliberately used "only" 1,600 officers, even though a policeman later testified before the Knesset that a ratio of four policemen to every protester was necessary to avoid violence. There were 4,000 protesters at Amona. It also criticizes the fact that there were only 200 policewomen and 50 female soldiers at the evacuation, even though a large number of protesters were known to be women or girls. According to Human Rights in Judea and Samaria, the policemen were trained in advance to use violence in removing the protesters. They came equipped with clubs, gas canisters, mounted policemen and hoses. The kind of training they received was reflected in the way they carried out the evacuation, the report continues. The mounted horsemen deliberately trampled protesters blocking the road leading to Amona and the street where the illegal housing had been built. The police smashed the windows of the houses before entering them, and then threw many of the protesters headfirst out of the windows, even though there were shards of glass on the window frames, according to the report. Struck said her organization ha filed 100 complaints against policemen who participated in the evacuation and intended to file another 50. Altogether, the organization has received 1,500 complaints from evacuees.